Kent Wells-Sherman House moved to permanent location


The Wells Sherman house takes a one way trip down East Erie Street Saturday, Sept., 2010.

Raven Brinson

After months of debate, the historic Kent Wells-Sherman House made its final move Saturday to a permanent location on North Water Street.

Stein House Movers, Inc., the firm that moved the Greek Revival-style home to its temporary location on East College Avenue last August, moved the house at 7 a.m. to the lot at 247 N. Water St.

Video by Brian Smith

The relocation route started on Haymaker Parkway at College Avenue and Depeyster Street heading east to Erie Street; west on Erie Street to South Water Street; north on South Water Street crossing Main Street; and ended at 247 N. Water St.

Local preservationist group Kent Wells-Sherman House, Inc. made the effort to move the house, which Kent patriarch Zenas Kent built in 1858 and later transferred to Civil War surgeon Dr. Aaron Sherman in 1868.

“It’s about time,” said Roger Thurman, vice president of Kent Wells-Sherman House, Inc. board of directors, of the long-anticipated move.

Kent Wells-Sherman House Inc. formed to save the historic home after Kent State scheduled the former East Erie Street house for demolition in 2011 to expand the Esplanade, which connects campus to downtown Kent. The university sold the home to the group for $1 before it was relocated in 2012 to a temporary plot at the end of College Avenue.

Thurman said the board scouted several locations before selecting the lot on North Water Street.

“I’m overjoyed,” said Anne Ward, member of the Kent Wells-Sherman House, Inc. board of directors. “We’ve encountered a lot of roadblocks, so I’m glad to see it’s finally happening.”

Restoration will be “the beginning of another long process,” said Thurman, which is why the group distributed flyers during Saturday’s move to announce a Kent Historical Society fundraising campaign to aid the home’s repairs.

Thurman said the group’s main priority is repairing the house’s utilities — gas, water, electric, heating and air conditioning — and remodeling the upstairs for a future tenant.

“There’s a lot more work to do,” Thurman said. “This is not the conclusion at all.”

Contact Raven Brinson at [email protected]